Lateral Alignment: University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations professor Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, a past LERA president, was quoted indirectly but substantively and at length in an Aug. 7 Huffington Post column, "Three Habits at Three Levels for Improved Engineering Education." Click here to read the article. "The real key to effective change in such settings is in the middle — what Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld at the University of Illinois and others have called lateral alignment. The key to lateral alignment is to reach across the organization to connect the dots across the organization and form a network of willing collaborators, organized not in a hierarchy that works through the fear of authority, but through a network powered by the joy of effective change and cooperative sentiment. In this way, transformation-minded collaborators in disciplines as different as chemical, mechanical, aerospace, electrical, and civil engineering, or even the humanities, social sciences, or the fine and applied arts, work together as a cohesive unit to bring about effective change." Cutcher-Gershenfeld's insights originate from early research on a substantial National Science Foundation grant that he describes as "exploring and understanding stakeholder alignments for 21st century institutions."
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